Legal Sports Betting in Arizona

Since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in 2018, the United States has welcomed a new gambling industry that has blossomed. In the first three years of the lifted ban, nearly half the states in the country developed and implemented their own sports betting legislation, giving residents the opportunity to become an active participant in the sports they have grown to support and love.

It wasn’t until 2021 that Arizona rolled out their own sports betting legislation, taking note of the successes and failures of sports betting plans that were rolled out in other states. The finished product aims to bring a plethora of sports betting options to bettors in Arizona, just in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season.

The following aims to lay out all the information needed to understand the timeline of events leading up to legal sports betting in the state of Arizona, as well as who can legally operate sportsbooks and where to begin placing bets.

Sports betting became legal in Arizona in April of 2021. Governor Ducey was able to negotiate a new tribal compact with the tribal nations, which opened the door for sports wagering. Mobile betting options also seemed hopeless, but thanks to Ducey’s negotiation skills, easily-accessible betting apps will soon be a reality in the state. All in all, there will be both retail and mobile betting in Arizona starting in September of 2021.


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Timeline of Arizona’s Sports Betting Bill

In April 2021, the Arizona Senate approved HB2772, legalizing in-person and mobile sports betting in the state. The bill was signed into legislation by Gov. Doug Ducey, paving the way for Arizona to begin establishing sports betting rules and sportsbooks.

n June of 2021, the rules for sports betting in the state were proposed, followed by the tax structure for sports betting on July 2. After more than a month of revisions, the rules for sports betting became official on July 26, 2021, giving sportsbooks the opportunity to submit applications to operate in the state.

Following the official publication of the rules, sportsbook applicants were subject to a 5-day examination period from the Arizona Department of Gaming to confirm whether or not they would be fit to operate a sportsbook in the state.

Applicants who were approved were permitted to begin marketing their sportsbook starting August 30th, 2021, with the goal that all approved sportsbooks would go live on September 8th, just in time for the start of the 2021/2022 NFL season. Under the sports betting bill, rule amendments would be considered through April 15, 2022.

The following outlines the important timeline of events for sports betting in Arizona:

• April 12-15: Senate approves HB2772 and Bill is signed by Gov. Ducey, legalizing sports betting
• June 17: Arizona Department of Gaming releases rules for sports betting
• July 2: Tax structure announced
• July 26: Sports betting rule became official and sportsbooks can begin submitting applications
• August 30: Sportsbooks can begin marketing their products
• September 8-9: Sports betting goes live with the start of the NFL season
• April 15 2022: Sports betting rule amendments are finalized

Licensing Fees and Tax Revenue

In order to apply for a license, professional sports teams and federally recognized Native American tribes must pay a $850,00 application fee, with an additional $150,000 annually to renew their license. Retail sports betting will be taxed at a rate of 8 percent, with mobile wagers being taxed at 10 percent.

Licenses and Sportsbooks

The approved sports betting bill allows for a total of ten sportsbooks be run by professional sports facilities or professional sports teams. Conveniently, many of the sports teams and venues in the state established partnerships in the industry even before sports betting officially went live.

In addition to the ten licenses set aside for professional sports teams and venues, ten more licenses have been set aside for federally recognized Native American Tribes in Arizona. A final ten licenses would be available to any tribes or professional sports teams who partner with existing horse racing tracks.

The licenses breakdown as follows:

• 30 total licenses available
• 10 licenses to professional sports teams and venues
• 10 licenses to federally recognized Native American tribes
• 10 licenses to tribes or sports teams who partner with racetracks

Partnerships with Professional Sports Teams

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns have an existing relationship with FanDuel, an industry leading sportsbook. A FanDuel Sportsbook is set to open inside the Footprint Center, the Suns’ home arena, in 2021. It is likely that FanDuel will also become one of the largest online and mobile sportsbooks in the state, as they have in other states throughout the country. The WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, who also play at Footprint Center, has a sports betting partnership of their own with Bally Bet. It is unclear whether or not Bally Bet will be opening a sportsbook in the area, given FanDuel’s plans to do so.

The Arizona Diamondbacks of the MLB have a joint gaming partnership of their own, with Caesars and William Hill. Teams throughout the MLB have been striking deals with major sportsbooks, despite baseball’s controversial past with sports betting. It appears, however, that sports betting is now being welcomed with open arms, with teams like the Washington Nationals opening sportsbooks just outside the ballpark. The Arizona Diamondbacks are set to become home to Caesars Sportsbook, which opens at Chase Field sometime in 2021.

Phoenix Raceway, a popular NASCAR venue in Arizona, announced a timely partnership with Barstool Sportsbook in 2021. Shortly after that deal was announced, Barstool Sportsbook made headlines again, sharing that the Arizona Bowl, a major college bowl game, will now be called the Barstool Bowl. The name change not only marks a significant shift in college bowl games, it also opens the door for additional sportsbook partnership opportunities.

TPC Scottsdale is one of the most popular golf courses in the country and plays host to the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. The PGA Tour has a strategic partnership with DraftKings, a company who made their name with daily fantasy sports but has since risen to the top as one of the nation’s leading sportsbooks. The partnership is also set to bring a DraftKings Sportsbook to TPC Scottsdale once sports betting is officially live in Arizona.

The Phoenix Rising, a professional soccer team, is currently asking for clarification about whether or not a team from the United Soccer League can qualify for a license. The USL is the league below Major League Soccer but is technically still a professional league.

It is likely that their questions could lead to a gaming partnership of their own. However, even if the Phoenix Rising does qualify for a license, the existing partnerships fall short of the ten licenses set aside by the new legislation. That being said, it is possible teams could relocate to Arizona and strike new partnerships in the future.

The following professional sports and sportsbook partnerships exist:

Phoenix Suns (NBA) and FanDuel
• Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) and Bally Bet
• Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) and Caesars and William Hill
Phoenix Raceway (NASCAR) and Barstool Sportsbook
Barstool Bowl (NCAA Football) Barstool Sportsbook
• TPC Scottsdale (PGA Tour) DraftKings
• Phoenix Rising (USL) – awaiting approval from Arizona Gaming

Partnerships with Tribes and Racetracks

The licenses for federally recognized tribes will not fall short of the ten licenses set aside. Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes. Of that number, 16 tribes own casinos, and six tribes have been granted rights to operate slot machines. The sports betting legislation gives these tribes the opportunity to expand upon their existing gaming operations, without needing to apply for a license.

That means that any existing tribal casinos can operate retail sportsbooks on tribal lands without taking one of t. The ten licenses set aside for the tribes are for mobile sports betting. With 22 tribes looking to get in on the action, those ten licenses will surely be filled.

Arizona currently has only three horse racing tracks, but there are nearly 60 off-track wagering sites that could be eligible to apply for a license under the new legislation.

The following partnerships between federally recognized tribes and sportsbooks exist:

• Gila River Indian Community and BetMGM
• Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuman Indian Reservation and UniBet
• Ak-Chin Indian Community and William Hill
• San Carlos Apache Tribe and WynnBET

Daily Fantasy Sports

In addition to traditional sportsbooks, Arizona will also launch daily fantasy sports starting August 28, 2021. Daily fantasy sports allow bettors to engage in daily, weekly, season long, or even in-game contests. With daily fantasy sports, bettors can construct a roster for the sport of their choice and compete against other bettors in various contests. The bettor with the strongest roster wins the contest.

Daily fantasy sports help Arizona offer a full range of sports betting options. Given their existing partnerships in the state and their existing prowess and daily fantasy sports companies, it is likely that both FanDuel and DraftKings will dominate the market in the state — with newcomers like BetMGM, PointsBet and Barstool itching for a piece of their action in due time.

Sportsbook Apps in Arizona

There are currently no sportsbook apps in Arizona that are live because the form of gambling has not gone live. The expected launch is in the fall of 2021. There will be 20 mobile betting providers allowed in the state.

The tribal nations will receive ten licenses and the professional sports teams will be granted ten. A few major platforms like BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel have already been confirmed in the state.

Arizona is the 14th most populous state in the country, so it has the potential to be a large market when it goes live in the fall.


Mobile/Online Betting in Arizona

Mobile betting seemed unlikely, but the governor, tribes, and state legislature were able to negotiate a deal that pleased all parties. Twenty sports betting platforms will be able to launch in the state.

The tribes and professional sports teams have the licenses. Companies will have to apply through either of these two parties.


Sports to Bet on in Arizona

Sports betting in Arizona will be a prime market because of the professional and amateur sports played in the state. There is a sport played in AZ that every bettor would like to wager.

The most popular sport in Arizona is football. This is the case for most states throughout the nation because football is exhilarating to watch. Arizona has one professional football team that competes in the National Football League.

The state also has two major colleges that are NCAA powerhouses on the gridiron. Football will be very appealing for bettors throughout the state. Another exciting sport to bet in the state is basketball. Arizona bettors can wager basketball on the professional or collegiate level.

Basketball is a great sport to wager because of the momentum swings that occur during a game. A team is never truly out of a basketball game which is displayed nearly every night during the season. College basketball fans will enjoy betting during March Madness when sports wagering is legalized in Arizona.

The NCAA Tournament is the most wagered sporting event of the year in the United States. It’s a month of buzzer beaters and upsets, which allows people to win a lot of money. The two collegiate programs in AZ are known for having great basketball programs, so local bettors could have a vested interest in future tournaments.

In addition to football and basketball, AZ bettors will be able to test their luck on hockey and baseball. Baseball is a frequently bet sport because of the extensive season. The MLB teams play 162 games during the regular season. This length gives a lot of chances for bettors to win big!

Ice hockey is an exciting sport to bet that offers a long season like baseball. Sportsbooks often overlook hockey bets because they are not widely wagered, so they give hockey fans an amazing chance to win. Additionally, Arizona bettors will most likely be able to wager sports through the sportsbooks in the state when the form of gambling is legalized.


Arizona Teams to Bet On

Arizona offers two colleges that compete in the Pac-12 Conference. These two schools offer college football and basketball as well as a plethora of other sports.

There are teams that compete in the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, USL, and NHL in Arizona on the professional level. The Arizona Cardinals play in the NFC West of the NFL. The Cardinals have not been able to take the next step in their franchise history.

Arizona has never won a Super Bowl since the AFL-NFL merger occurred in 1970. The franchise won the NFC in 2008, but they were defeated in the Super Bowl. The Cardinals have made 11 playoff appearances and won seven division titles since 1947. The team competes inside State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Arizona has two professional basketball teams. One franchise is in the NBA, and the other is in the WNBA. Robert Sarver owns both squads. The Phoenix Suns play in the Western Conference Pacific Division in the NBA.

The franchise has won two Western Conference Championships, but they have never succeeded in the NBA Finals. The Phoenix Mercury have garnered a lot of success since their debut season in 1997. The Mercury have claimed three WNBA titles in 2007, 2009, and 2014.

On the ice, Arizona hosts an NHL franchise. The Arizona Coyotes play inside Gila River Arena. The Coyotes have won one West Division title, but they have earned any more hardware besides this single honor.

The single MLB franchise in the state is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks have been the most successful major sports franchise in the state. The Diamondbacks have won five National League West titles, one league championship, and a World Series Championship.

The youngest team in the state is the Phoenix Rising of the United Soccer League. The Rising was founded in 2014, and they play inside Wild Horse Pass Stadium in Chandler, AZ.

You are also able to bet on MMA in the state of Arizona.


Types of Bets Available in Arizona

Here are the bets that will be allowed in Arizona.

Moneyline – The moneyline is picking a winner in a competition straight up. You are choosing one outcome to occur, and if it does, you will win. This is the most common bet in sports because of its simplicity. This is a great bet to make, but you can often find more value with other wagers like the point spread or over/under.

Point Spread – The point spread refers to how much a team must win by or be within their opponents’ margin at the end of the game. You can also bet point spreads for quarters or at the half, depending on the contest. If you bet a team at -3, they must win by four points for your bet to hit. If you take a team at +3, the team must win or lose by two or less for you to earn a payout.

Over/Under – The over/under is when you bet on how many points will be scored in a given contest. This is an excellent wager because it allows you to root for both teams throughout an entire game.

Prop Bets – Prop bets focus on a small portion of a game. These are unique wagers that are very fun to bet. They can deal with players or the entire squad. Props are usually tougher to win, but they can yield a significant return.

Future Bets – Future bets are when you take an outcome that will happen in the future. If you picked the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl in the offseason, this would be classified as a future bet.

Parlay Bets – A parlay bet is when you group a selection of wagers to give you an increased payout. Parlays are the best way to win big, but they can be hard to win depending on the size of your wager choices.


Banking Options Available for Betting in Arizona

It’s unclear what banking options will be available in Arizona. All sports betting platfiorms have different payment methods.

For the retail option, the main form of payment will be cash. The sportsbooks will be inside casinos, so the typical house payment structure will reside in the books.

For online sportsbooks, the most popular ways to deposit and withdraw on sportsbooks throughout the United States are credit/debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, PayNearMe, e-Check through ACH Payments, or a banking wire.

These will not be an option in retail casino sportsbooks, so more information will be known once sports betting goes live.


FAQ for Arizona Sports Betting

Is sports betting legal in AZ?

Yes, sports betting was legalized in April of 2021. Governor Ducey, the tribal nations, and the state legislature worked out a deal to bring sports betting to AZ by the fall.

What is delaying sports betting in Arizona?

It takes time for sports betting to go live. Arizona is in the planning stage currently. The professional sports venues and tribal casinos each can grant ten mobile betting licenses. They also can open retail sports betting venues.

What is the legal sports betting age in Arizona?

The legal betting age will be 21 when sports betting launches in the fall.

Is mobile sports betting allowed in the state?

Yes mobile betting is legal in Arizona. There will be up to 20 sportsbooks in the state when the form of gambling launches.

How many professional sports teams can you bet on in Arizona?

Arizona is loaded with professional sports franchises. Bettors will be able to wager the Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Coyotes (NHL), and the Phoenix Rising (USL).